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Best Music To Listen To While Reading, According To Scientific Research

Best Music To Listen To While Reading

I get it. You’re all busy people

You don’t have time to read a book. That’s why you’re here, right?

To find out what the best music to listen to while reading is so that you can multi-task and still get freaking smarter.

Well, I’m here to tell you that not only is it possible to read and listen to music at the same time but there are certain songs and genres that are better suited for literary pursuits than others.

Now, grab your cans and put on your reading glasses, and let’s dig in!

Open your ears and eyes!

Can I Hear Music While Reading? 

Yes, of course, you can hear music while reading.

In fact, that can be a problem for some people who find that if they can hear the music, they can’t concentrate on the page before them.

However, that doesn’t mean you can’t listen to music and read, it just means that some people are never going to enjoy the experience. 

Many more will, though, and reading to music can be an intensely pleasurable experience. 

The Best Music To Read To 

Best Music To Listen To While Reading

So, what’s the best kind of music to listen to while reading? 

Well, research says that if you want to read and listen to music, you ought to pick something that relaxes you because that improves your focus. 

What, exactly relaxes you, is going to vary from reader to reader but we find some light jazz or light classical to be really good.

The lack of words means that we don’t find ourselves trying to sing-a-long and read, which does break your concentration.

Instead, we can just flow with the music and the words on the page. 

Prefer a scientific recommendation?

Current research says that there are several types of music which can help to improve your concentration: 

  • Instrumental music
    This may be the best form of music to read to because it creates a low stress environment. You can listen on your bone conduction headphones or your bookshelf speakers and be just as comfortable too.
  • Classical Music
    There’s research that suggests listening to classics improves the mind when reading. 
  • Ambient/Chill
    As the name suggests, these sounds help you relax and concentrate.
  • Jazz
    Low tempo jazz is ideal for focusing thoughts. 

Is It A Good Idea To Listen To Music While Reading? 


Yes, though it’s important to remember that the best music to read with is music that makes you feel relaxed and able to focus.

Music can be distracting in some case too, particularly when:

  • The music is new. New music encourages you to pay attention to the song rather than the page.
  • When reading challenging material. If you find the subject matter hard going, you may be tempted to focus more on the sounds and less on the words. It’s probably best to mute your speakers at this point.
  • When trying to remember information. If you’re using rote learning methods, these may be thrown off by the use of music when reading. 

The best music to read by is music that helps you concentrate and enjoy the act of reading more. That’s really all there is to it.